100

I like words. I enjoy speaking them and writing them. Crafting them in such a way that encourages, challenges, and even inspires. So a little less than a year ago, I started this blog. My hope was to engage people by sharing stories, making observations about life, and passing along some wisdom that I’ve gathered (mostly the hard way) over the years. To be honest, I wasn’t sure anybody would ever want to read them, outside of those few friends and family members who would feel sorry for me and say nice things about what I wrote out of compassion.

99 blogs later, I’m still not sure why anybody wants to read what I write, but I’m enjoying more and more this format of expressing words. Almost 60% of the blogs I’ve written have come in the past 2 months. When you keep your eyes and ears open, material just comes seemingly out of nowhere. Especially when you’re raising two precocious children. Sometimes the posts almost write themselves.

Too bad they don’t all write themselves. That would be so much easier.

Anyway, for those of you who have been reading what I write, allow me to express my gratitude that you would spend some of your time with me on a regular basis. It’s an honor and a privilege to have you as a reader. And if you’ve actually enjoyed a post well enough to share it with your friends, well, that means more to me than I can express to you. I’m just grateful.

For blog 100, I thought it would be appropriate to re-post some of my favorites. Some you may have missed, or forgotten about, or wouldn’t mind reading again. 10 sounds about right. So here goes…

1. Saying no.

2. Facebook.

3. Wilson!

4. I’m not Jesus.

5. The Space between us.

6. Charlie Sheen vs. Rob Bell.

7. Peanut Butter Cups.

8. Finishing Elementary School.

9. Wii panic.

10. Turning seven.

That was hard. Probably like asking Pongo and Perdita to pick their 10 favorite dalmatians. Or something like that.

Hope you enjoy. I’ll be back later today with two new posts about parenting. See you then.

“There’s never a wish better than this, when you’ve only got 100 years to live.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Neglect

I’m so neglectful sometimes.

I mean, no matter how many sticks of deodorant I lose to the Georgia heat, I continue to leave my gym bag in the trunk of my car on really hot days. I prefer the solid kind of antiperspirant, which melts like a chocolate bar when the temperature is raised. Which is really frustrating, because have you ever tried to rub chocolate under your arms after a long workout?

It’s not a good situation.

Which is why I don’t understand why I can’t just remember to bring my gym bag inside on summer days. I’ve lost so many this season, I’m probably feared in Deodorant World.

You know, the land where all the different kinds of deodorant live, work, and play?

I bet I’m Public Enemy Number One in that place. The Deodorant Melter. I just know they talk about it around the water coolers at Deodorant, Inc. I imagine there are signs on the trees in their village with a a picture of me and the words, “Arm-pitted and Dangerous!” underneath it. I’m sure they’re mobilizing their forces against me right now. All of the different kinds, united in their desire to vanquish me and my neglectful ways…

  • Old Spice deodorants, the A-listers of Deodorant World. They’re famous due to the success of the commercials. Their status as celebrities has been somewhat of a recent development, so they’re still learning how to deal with fame.
  • Aerosol sprays, the athletic types. These are the jocks. They’re great at what they do. And they know it.
  • Gels, the wealthy set. They are “New Money,” but they come in cool colors and are envied because of it.
  • Solids, the blue collar workers. They are, well, solid.
  • Roll-ons, the outcasts of Deodorant World, constantly picked on because of their tops are always moist.

Despite all of their differences, they have come together to put an end to my neglect. Like a reverse William Wallace in Braveheart, I’ve united the clans of Deodorant World and rallied them to a cause. They’ve got to stop me before another one of their brothers goes down.

Somehow I’ve got to start remembering to bring my gym bag in on hot, summer days.

What I’m trying to say here, is…

I need to be less neglectful in my life. Neglect leads to losing things. People. Dreams.

And I hate losing things. People. Dreams.

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80′s Weekend vs. 90′s Weekend

A while back, I wrote about 80′s music, and my biased opinion that it is the best music there is. Every weekend in Atlanta, all weekend long, 2 rival radio stations suspend their regular weekday playlists and broadcast music from two different decades. Star 94 plays music from the 1990′s and B98.5 plays music from the 1980′s. So I thought I would attempt an objective analysis to try and see which decade really has the best music. The process? Every time I was in the car last weekend, I checked both stations to see which song was playing. Then I pit those two songs against each other to see which one is better. It’s a random sample, and I spent equal time in both decades (10 years – imagine that), so I feel like I can be fairly balanced in my evaluations. The biggest factor will be the song’s Billboard ranking. But that won’t be the only consideration.

There are seven songs in total, ensuring that one decade will rise above the other. I’m allowing myself no ties. No easy way out. I’ve got to make a decision and pick a winner in each head-to-head battle. Interesting to note that of the fourteen songs I randomly heard, there were no hair bands (or Madonna) on the Eighties side, and no boy bands (or Britney Spears) on the Nineties side. Although there was a quasi-boy band on the Eighties side (The Culture Club) and a quasi-hair band on the Nineties side (Aerosmith). There are (arguably) at least 4 one-hit wonders on the list. There is a mix of rock, pop, and even a little hip hop. (Poet.) Overall, I think the playlist on both sides is a pretty good representation of each decade’s overall musical sound.

So here we go. No boy bands. No hair bands. Just music.

Raspberry Beret, Prince vs. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Deep Blue Something

  • At first glance, this appears to be a mismatch on the level of David versus Goliath. Prince has been nominated for 33 Grammy awards, winning 7. He’s had 5 number one singles on the Billboard chart. He was even big enough at one point that he didn’t even need a name anymore, just a weird symbol. Deep Blue Something never had success with any other song. However, Breakfast is a catchy song that cleverly references Audrey Hepburn, and who doesn’t love Audrey Hepburn? Raspberry Beret is not one of Prince’s five number 1 hits. But it did reach #2. Breakfast at Tiffany‘s hit #1 in the U.K., but got no higher than #5 here in the U.S. Edge: Eighties.

New Sensation, INXS vs. Summertime, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

    • New Sensation made it to #3 on Billboard. Summertime reached #4 on Billboard, but spent a week at #1 on U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hip Songs chart. I really like INXS, but Summertime is one of my favorite songs from the Nineties. Sometimes I even play it in the dead of winter to try and warm my soul a little bit. Plus, you can’t pick against the Fresh Prince. Don’t want to start trouble in his neighborhood.  Edge: Nineties.

Alive and Kicking, Simple Minds vs. How Do You Talk to an Angel, Jamie Walters

    • This is not the most well-known song by Simple Minds. If it were “Don’t You (Forget about Me)” this wouldn’t even be a contest. That song has to make any Top-1o list of best songs of the Eighties. Alive and Kicking is not quite on that level. It reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Angel hit #1 in 1992. Despite the fact that it has one of the cheesiest choruses ever and that it came from an obscure TV show called the Heights that only lasted one season, you’ve got to go with the numbers on this one. Edge: Nineties.

Straight Up, Paula Abdul vs. All for You, Sister Hazel

    • Some of you may not know this, but before Paula Abdul was a judge on American Idol where she appeared high and always fought with Simon, she was quite a successful pop star. Straight Up spent three weeks in 1988 at the top of the Billboard charts. All for You is a great song, but never cracked the Billboard Top 10, peaking at #11 in 1997. Edge: Eighties.

I’ll Tumble 4 Ya, The Culture Club vs. Virtual Insanity, Jamiroquai

    • Songs that replace a word with a number in the title should automatically lose on principle alone. But let’s look at the numbers. I’ll Tumble 4 Ya, fronted by the cross-dressing Boy George of Culture Club, climbed to #9 in 1983. Surprisingly, Virtual Insanity only made it to the #39 on the Billboard chart. But I have to go against the numbers on this one. Jamiroquai just has a better song. Edge: Nineties.

Cryin’, Aerosmith vs. I Feel For You, Chaka Khan

    • First of all, let’s just pause in awe at the fact that Aerosmith shows up in the Nineties bracket at all. Making good music for decades is something few artists are able to accomplish. Cryin’ reached #12 on the charts in 1993. Chaka Khan’s impossibly catchy, I Feel for You made it all the way to #3. Chaka in a shocker. Edge: Eighties.

Spiderwebs, No Doubt vs. Shout, Tears for Fears

    • Can anyone explain to me how Gwen Stefani went from making mostly depressing ska/punk songs as the lead singer for No Doubt to making mostly Eighties-sounding, upbeat pop records? Spiderwebs made it to #18 on the Billboard chart in 1996. Shout, arguably the most popular song made by Eighties powerhouse Tears for Fears, reached #1 on the charts in 1985 and stayed there for 3 weeks. Edge: Eighties.

Final Score: Eighties, 4. Nineties 3.

Straight up.

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